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geremy

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I have been looking at photos and I am a bit confused. I was under the impression that distressed smooth was like rough out much shorter. So if you ran your finger over it, it would be like felt. Am I right, or is it smooth like oiltan or dress?

Colour wise their light brown is lovely
Well a lot of the distressed images are distressed rough-out, which is obviously felt-like, but you can also have the smooth side out, and then it is more like normal leather whose surface has been sanded down a bit. It has some of the same advantages of a rough out: it doesn't crease heavily and requires very little upkeep, but in appearance it isn't as 'casual' as rough out and can pass for normal leather. It can even develop a nice sheen with good brushing/product.

@PACostag has a nice pair that shows the smooth finish (and it's variability) a few pages back:


 
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discomute

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Thanks - I knew the difference between rough out and smooth but I seem to have gotten myself confused when it comes to distressed. So it is literally smooth?

I've been looking at @PACostag and his boots and they are nearly identical to what I am after, could I trouble you for some more pics and specifications for the build?

Does distressed follow an ordinary shoe care routine - i.e. horsehair brush and some renovataur? Or would that substantially darken it the way Bick4 did to PACostags? (Seems to be nothing at the hangar project on distressed)
 

miggyramone

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Anybody ever see this problem? My new natural cxl sd boots came with these indents/creases in the toe cap. Pretty bummed, as I waited about 7 weeks for these.

 

PACostag

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Thanks - I knew the difference between rough out and smooth but I seem to have gotten myself confused when it comes to distressed. So it is literally smooth?

I've been looking at @PACostag and his boots and they are nearly identical to what I am after, could I trouble you for some more pics and specifications for the build?

Does distressed follow an ordinary shoe care routine - i.e. horsehair brush and some renovataur? Or would that substantially darken it the way Bick4 did to PACostags? (Seems to be nothing at the hangar project on distressed)
Mine are a 6 inch 55 last soft toe. Bick 4 didn’t really do anything to them. I hit them with boot oil and they were back to the original color within a day or two, but more hydrophobic and hydrated. It’s a nice leather that you don’t have to baby. I bought them specifically to not have to care about them.

But... I might sell them (after maybe 10-15 wears) and buy some cordovan... nothing against the boot, just dynamic taste buds
 
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hoppy_IPA

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@discomute - don’t feel bad. “Distressed” has to be the most confusing leather name anyone has heard of. Consider it as a hybrid of natural/tan color & “stone washed” denim finish. As you acknowledged, the “Smooth” or “Rough Out” simply designates Hair or Flesh side out.
As mentioned, Distressed leather feels as though it has been tumbled or something to the affect. Out of the box there is no stiffness & on the foot the leather feels lighter than it is. The 7/8oz thickness however is still present along with its inherent heft & tensile strength/lack of stretch.
It’s one of my very favorite leathers for the above mentioned attributes. The rough out side is similar in nature to others you’ve experienced and wears accordingly (resistant to abrasion/easy to care for). The Smooth/Hair side though has a porous surface & takes poorly to a shine. Conversely, when brushed & given general care it’s unflappable. It wears like iron.
If I could offer 1 piece of advice for your first pair of White’s, I would encourage you to get smooth out leather(in any variety). It’s timeless, classic & can be dressed up/down with polishing.
 

discomute

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Edit2:

After a lot of reading on this thread, I am officially in love with Distressed Smooth.

My only issue is that it has been mentioned once that it is not very water resistant compared to other leathers. Plus I notice most are treating it with obenauf's (which I would not want to do because I would like it as "light in colour" as possible)

Can someone please verify if this is an issue, and how much of an issue?


PS. @miggyramone on page 970 we get into a big discussion regarding CXL and this issue, LE also posts a link to an article about it.
 
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Netvine

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Edit2:

After a lot of reading on this thread, I am officially in love with Distressed Smooth.

My only issue is that it has been mentioned once that it is not very water resistant compared to other leathers. Plus I notice most are treating it with obenauf's (which I would not want to do because I would like it as "light in colour" as possible)

Can someone please verify if this is an issue, and how much of an issue?


PS. @miggyramone on page 970 we get into a big discussion regarding CXL and this issue, LE also posts a link to an article about it.
Do you mean by water resistant that water will bead up and it will stay perfectly dry like plastic? Or that water will not harm it if it gets soaked? The smooth leathers will absorb water but they will dry without damage. Eventually you may need to condition. Obenaufs will darken but will make water bead up and fall away from the leather, mostly. This has been my experience.

I have seen how nice Hoppy_IPA’s smooth boots look and now I use only VSC on the upper and heel on smooth BountyHunter.

Obenauf’s HDLP does come in handy, it functions exactly as it claims. It’s effects are fading from my uppers and heels after discontinuing a year and a half or so. but there is certainly a cost and HDLP is not completely reversible as far as i can tell. If I had distressed I would stick to vsc and/or or lexol.

Brown or Black would be less of a let down if permanently darkened. I’ll probably continue to apply HDLP once or twice a year to my brown smooth vamps when i get frustrated by wet toes.
 

discomute

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Do you mean by water resistant that water will bead up and it will stay perfectly dry like plastic? Or that water will not harm it if it gets soaked? The smooth leathers will absorb water but they will dry without damage. Eventually you may need to condition. Obenaufs will darken but will make water bead up and fall away from the leather, mostly. This has been my experience.

I have seen how nice Hoppy_IPA’s smooth boots look and now I use only VSC on the upper and heel on smooth BountyHunter.

Obenauf’s HDLP does come in handy, it functions exactly as it claims. It’s effects are fading from my uppers and heels after discontinuing a year and a half or so. but there is certainly a cost and HDLP is not completely reversible as far as i can tell. If I had distressed I would stick to vsc and/or or lexol.

Brown or Black would be less of a let down if permanently darkened. I’ll probably continue to apply HDLP once or twice a year to my brown smooth vamps when i get frustrated by wet toes.
I meant water resistant as in "does distressed smooth keep your feet dry". Does it?

PS. VSC? Is this it:
 

Legal Eagles

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Anybody ever see this problem? My new natural cxl sd boots came with these indents/creases in the toe cap. Pretty bummed, as I waited about 7 weeks for these.

I view things like that as a possibility when dealing with handmade boots.

I think he was referring specifically to the welt stitching, but in his interview @sambam commented about the difficulty of getting a cosmetically perfect stitch given the way the upper is sewn to the lower:

"With the rolled welt, our toughest thing to do is stitching the soles on. That’s where we have the most issues, because of the rolled welt. It’s a very hard construction to stitch. That’s the biggest complaint we get: why doesn’t your sole stitching look as clean as a Viberg?"

I think this would have no impact on durability, but if it bothers you ask Kyle or sambam if they would consider this a defect...

When dealing with handmade boots, I long ago adopted the philosophy of wabi-sabi... best summed up as this:

"A combination of two old words with overlapping definitions, wabi-sabi might be the Buddhist view of the facts of existence: Both life and art are beautiful not because they are perfect and eternal, but because they are imperfect and fleeting. If you note a touch of melancholy there, you have begun to understand wabi-sabi."

So when I see an imperfection in a man made object that does not impact its usefulness or durability... I chalk it up to wabi-sabi and move on...

You of course are free to do as you like...
 

miggyramone

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I view things like that as a possibility when dealing with handmade boots.

I think he was referring specifically to the welt stitching, but in his interview @sambam commented about the difficulty of getting a cosmetically perfect stitch given the way the upper is sewn to the lower:

"With the rolled welt, our toughest thing to do is stitching the soles on. That’s where we have the most issues, because of the rolled welt. It’s a very hard construction to stitch. That’s the biggest complaint we get: why doesn’t your sole stitching look as clean as a Viberg?"

I think this would have no impact on durability, but if it bothers you ask Kyle or sambam if they would consider this a defect...

When dealing with handmade boots, I long ago adopted the philosophy of wabi-sabi... best summed up as this:

"A combination of two old words with overlapping definitions, wabi-sabi might be the Buddhist view of the facts of existence: Both life and art are beautiful not because they are perfect and eternal, but because they are imperfect and fleeting. If you note a touch of melancholy there, you have begun to understand wabi-sabi."

So when I see an imperfection in a man made object that does not impact its usefulness or durability... I chalk it up to wabi-sabi and move on...

You of course are free to do as you like...
The welt stitching imperfections don't bug me but the creasing and indents in the toe cap do. It feels lumpy and it's pretty visible in person. I get it though, it's not like they are dress shoes, but I specifically get the toe cap for the xtra structure and clean esthetic.
 

Legal Eagles

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The welt stitching imperfections don't bug me but the creasing and indents in the toe cap do. It feels lumpy and it's pretty visible in person. I get it though, it's not like they are dress shoes, but I specifically get the toe cap for the xtra structure and clean esthetic.
I don't know what to say... you have certain expectations and for you those boots did not live up to them...

Both @PACostag and I gave you our opinions... which at the end of the day are all we really have to offer...

If that degree of toe cap creasing really bothers you, then I am afraid you may never get the perfection you seek and could be in for a lifetime of disappointment... of course we do not desire that for you... but neither can we compel you to accept a product you find unsatisfactory...

My words may ring hollow, but life is too short to sweat the small stuff... those are great boots, use them and love them for what they are... no more, no less...

Wabi-sabi brother... Wabi-sabi...
 
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ThreeLions

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Edit2:

After a lot of reading on this thread, I am officially in love with Distressed Smooth.

My only issue is that it has been mentioned once that it is not very water resistant compared to other leathers. Plus I notice most are treating it with obenauf's (which I would not want to do because I would like it as "light in colour" as possible)

Can someone please verify if this is an issue, and how much of an issue?


PS. @miggyramone on page 970 we get into a big discussion regarding CXL and this issue, LE also posts a link to an article about it.

Here is distressed rough out before and after applying Obenaufs Oil:



It goes on really dark at first, but If you leave them siting in the warm sun for a little while it lightens back up to this:





And in every day wear, they look like this:



These are by FAR my most comfortable pair of White's. The distressed rough-out is thick, but super soft. When combined with the Honey Vibram sole, they are like wearing slippers.

I haven't taken any photos of them recently. They are starting to age and don't look quite as nice now as they once did. I wear them as a work boot and they get somewhat rough treatment.

My care routine is to wash them with warm water, saddle soap, and a med/stiff bristle brush about twice a year. The following day, once they have dried completely, I treat them with Obenuaf's Oil. I don't use Obenuaf's HDLP on these as I don't want the wax, just the oil. I REALLY dislike the look of waxed flesh, and I think that distressed rough-out would start to look like that if you used the HDLP oil/wax blend.

Last month, I trudged around India for a couple of weeks. These were the only shoes I took and I was happy with that choice. I did get quite a few odd looks when I had to take them off to go into Mosques or Temples. When I was walking around Delhi, I was constantly followed by kids asking to clean my boots. Since I'm happy with my saddle soap and Obenauf's oil routine (and I didn't know what chemicals they would be using) I just said "No thanks" (about 1,000 times - they're nothing if not persistent little fellows).

A much shorter answer - If you want a pair of White's that are super comfortable, don't show scuffs or scratches, and require very little maintenance, get distressed rough-out.
 

Netvine

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I meant water resistant as in "does distressed smooth keep your feet dry". Does it?

PS. VSC? Is this it:
I had to look it up but the balm and cream are the same.


Here is a link to verify that balm and cream are the same
I only have brown smooth, which are unlined. I think the liner does help keep you a bit drier. YMMV. A structured toe probably would mitigate a wet toe as well. But in my experience eventually there will be moisture that transfers to your socks. They arent the same as rubber or pvc boots, but something like HDLP can get you close to it
 
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Netvine

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Here is distressed rough out before and after applying Obenaufs Oil:



It goes on really dark at first, but If you leave them siting in the warm sun for a little while it lightens back up to this:





And in every day wear, they look like this:



These are by FAR my most comfortable pair of White's. The distressed rough-out is thick, but super soft. When combined with the Honey Vibram sole, they are like wearing slippers.

I haven't taken any photos of them recently. They are starting to age and don't look quite as nice now as they once did. I wear them as a work boot and they get somewhat rough treatment.

My care routine is to wash them with warm water, saddle soap, and a med/stiff bristle brush about twice a year. The following day, once they have dried completely, I treat them with Obenuaf's Oil. I don't use Obenuaf's HDLP on these as I don't want the wax, just the oil. I REALLY dislike the look of waxed flesh, and I think that distressed rough-out would start to look like that if you used the HDLP oil/wax blend.

Last month, I trudged around India for a couple of weeks. These were the only shoes I took and I was happy with that choice. I did get quite a few odd looks when I had to take them off to go into Mosques or Temples. When I was walking around Delhi, I was constantly followed by kids asking to clean my boots. Since I'm happy with my saddle soap and Obenauf's oil routine (and I didn't know what chemicals they would be using) I just said "No thanks" (about 1,000 times - they're nothing if not persistent little fellows).

A much shorter answer - If you want a pair of White's that are super comfortable, don't show scuffs or scratches, and require very little maintenance, get distressed rough-out.
That is a great point about oil vs HDLP. They look very nice. How is the Honey Vibram holding up? Ive heard its soft and sounds like it might be nice walking on concrete? I seem to go through the 430’s a little too fast on my main work boots.
 

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